By RICK SOLEM
I hate college football. Not football, but college football. The system.
It’s so hard to focus on what I hate most.
It’s college’s most profitable sport, but the only one that doesn’t have a postseason governed by the NCAA. But I’m not even going to delve into that.
The season starts with big-time teams playing nobodies to pad their records and it ends with a one-game playoff based on what teams did at the very end of the season – as long as they don’t have two losses.
Oh, and they play the championship a month later.
That’s the worst, I think. The national championship is determined by the team that eats the least amount of Christmas cookies. I would surely lose the title game for my team.
So, this year’s BCS title was determined by a 109-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown after the gun.
The team everyone thought was going to repeat, then doesn’t get to play and the team that had the most improbable way to win in college football history does.
Auburn, of course, still had to sneak by No. 5 Missouri 59-42 – the Tigers were up just 45-42 after the third - in a conference championship and here we are.
Or, um, there we were, on Dec. 12, 2013. Now, Jan. 6, 2014, Auburn and Florida State get to play each other and there’s no real controversy.
None because the No. 3 team in the BCS poll, Alabama, plays the No. 11 team and loses, while fourth-ranked, Michigan State, squeaks by the No. 5 Stanford 24-20, and nobody can argue either should compete for the title.
It doesn’t make any sense, and a four-team playoff changes little.
Lose a game early in the season and you’re still likely done. Hope you’re highly ranked to start the year or you can never lose, because you’ll never make your way to the Top 4.
Wisconsin’s season was over on Sept. 14 when it lost to Arizona State.
I’m not saying Wisconsin was going to win it all, but the same thing happened in 2011 on a Hail Mary against Michigan State.
All fans have to look forward to is a Big Ten title shot, but, really, who cares about conference championships in sports? Yay, Green Bay won the NFC North this season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
And in college football, it doesn’t end there. Teams also get to play in a “just for fun” bowl game. Sure, fans may love to see their team one last time, unless their team isn’t that good and then culminates a forgetful season losing a forgettable bowl game – South Carolina 34, Wisconsin 24.
It’s worse than college basketball’s NIT.
But here it comes at 7:30 p.m. tonight on ESPN, the BCS title between lucky Auburn (12-1) and Florida State (13-0).
Next year, a committee will pick the final four teams. Here’s the list on that committee, which includes a bunch of athletic directors, including Barry Alvarez, with some other “football” people sprinkled in, including Condoleezza Rice, the only woman.